Shallow-seated controls on the evolution of the Upper Pliocene Kopasz-hegy nested monogenetic volcanic chain in the Western Pannonian Basin (Hungary)
Monogenetic, nested volcanic complexes (e.g. Tihany) are common landforms in the Bakony-Balaton Highland Volcanic Field (BBHVF, Hungary), which was active during the Late Miocene up to the Early Pleistocene. These types of monogenetic volcanoes are usually evolved in a slightly different way than their "simple" counterparts. The Kopasz-hegy Volcanic Complex (KVC) is inferred to be a vent complex, which evolved in a relatively complex way as compared to a classical "sensu stricto" monogenetic volcano. The KVC is located in the central part of the BBHVF and is one of the youngest (2.8-2.5 Ma) volcanic erosion remnants of the field. In this study, we carried out volcanic facies analysis of the eruptive products of the KVC in order to determine the possible role of changing magma fragmentation styles and/or vent migration responsible for the formation of this volcano. The evolution of the KVC started with interaction of water-saturated Late Miocene (Pannonian) mud, sand, sandstone with rising basaltic magma triggering phreatomagmatic explosive maar-diatreme forming eruptions. These explosive eruptions in the northern part of the volcanic complex took place in a N-S aligned paleovalley. As groundwater supply was depleted during volcanic activity the eruption style became dominated by more magmatic explosive-fragmentation leading to the formation of a mostly spatter-dominated scoria cone that is capping the basal maar-diatreme deposits. Subsequent vent migration along a few hundred meters long fissure still within the paleovalley caused the opening of the younger phreatomagmatic southern vent adjacent to the already established northern maar. This paper describes how change in eruption styles together with lateral migration of the volcanism forms an amalgamated vent complex.
The majority of the Mio-Pleistocene monogenetic volcanoes in Western Hungary had, at least in their initial eruptive phase, phreatomagmatic eruptions that produced pyroclastic deposits rich in volcanic glass shards. Electron microprobe studies on fresh samples of volcanic glass from the pyroclastic deposits revealed a primarily tephritic composition. A shape analysis of the volcanic glass shards indicated that the fine-ash fractions of the phreatomagmatic material fragmented in a brittle fashion. In general, the glass shards are blocky in shape, low in vesicularity, and have a low-to-moderate microlite content. The glass-shape analysis was supplemented by fractal dimension calculations of the glassy pyroclasts. The fractal dimensions of the glass shards range from 1.06802 to 1.50088, with an average value of 1.237072876, based on fractal dimension tests of 157 individual glass shards. The average and mean fractal-dimension values are similar to the theoretical Koch-flake (snowflake) value of 1.262, suggesting that the majority of the glass shards are bulky with complex boundaries. Light-microscopy and backscattered-electron-microscopy images confirm that the glass shards are typically bulky with fractured and complex particle outlines and low vesicularity; features that are observed in glass shards generated in either a laboratory setting or naturally through the interaction of hot melt and external water. Textural features identified in fine- and coarse-ash particles suggest that they were formed by brittle fragmentation both at the hot melt-water interface (forming active particles) as well as in the vicinity of the interaction interface. Brittle fragmentation may have occurred when hot melt rapidly penetrated abundant water-rich zones causing the melt to cool rapidly and rupture explosively.
Payún Matru Volcanic Field is a Quaternary monogenetic volcanic field that hosts scoria cones with perfect to breached morphologies. Los Morados complex is a group of at least four closely spaced scoria cones (Los Morados main cone and the older Cones A, B, and C). Los Morados main cone was formed by a long lived eruption of months to years. After an initial Hawaiian-style stage, the eruption changed to a normal Strombolian, conebuilding style, forming a cone over 150 metres high on a northward dipping (∼4°) surface. An initial cone gradually grew until a lava flow breached the cone’s base and rafted an estimated 10% of the total volume. A sudden sector collapse initiated a dramatic decompression in the upper part of the feeding conduit and triggered violent a Strombolian style eruptive stage. Subsequently, the eruption became more stable, and changed to a regular Strombolian style that partially rebuilt the cone. A likely increase in magma flux coupled with the gradual growth of a new cone caused another lava flow outbreak at the structurally weakened earlier breach site. For a second time, the unstable flank of the cone was rafted, triggering a second violent Strombolian eruptive stage which was followed by a Hawaiian style lava fountain stage. The lava fountaining was accompanied by a steady outpour of voluminous lava emission accompanied by constant rafting of the cone flank, preventing the healing of the cone. Santa Maria is another scoria cone built on a nearly flat pre-eruption surface. Despite this it went through similar stages as Los Morados main cone, but probably not in as dramatic a manner as Los Morados. In contrast to these examples of large breached cones, volumetrically smaller cones, associated to less extensive lava flows, were able to heal raft/collapse events, due to the smaller magma output and flux rates. Our evidence shows that scoria cone growth is a complex process, and is a consequence of the magma internal parameters (e.g. volatile content, magma flux, recharge, output volume) and external conditions such as inclination of the pre-eruptive surface where they grew and thus gravitational instability.
Al Wahbah Crater is one of the largest and deepest Quaternary maar craters in the Arabian Peninsula. It is NW-SE-elongated, ∼2.3 km wide, ∼250 m deep and surrounded by an irregular near-perpendicular crater wall cut deeply into the Proterozoic diorite basement. Very few scientific studies have been conducted on this unique site, especially in respect to understanding the associated volcanic eruption processes. Al Wahbah and adjacent large explosion craters are currently a research subject in an international project, Volcanic Risk in Saudi Arabia (VORiSA). The focus of VORiSA is to characterise the volcanic hazards and eruption mechanisms of the vast volcanic fields in Western Saudi Arabia, while also defining the unique volcanic features of this region for use in future geoconservation, geoeducation and geotourism projects. Al Wahbah is inferred to be a maar crater that formed due to an explosive interaction of magma and water. The crater is surrounded by a tephra ring that consists predominantly of base surge deposits accumulated over a pre-maar scoria cone and underlying multiple lava flow units. The tephra ring acted as an obstacle against younger lava flows that were diverted along the margin of the tephra ring creating unique lava flow surface textures that recorded inflation and deflation processes along the margin of the post-maar lava flow. Al Wahbah is a unique geological feature that is not only a dramatic landform but also a site that can promote our understanding of complex phreatomagmatic monogenetic volcanism. The complex geological features perfectly preserved at Al Wahbah makes this site as an excellent geotope and a potential centre of geoeducation programs that could lead to the establishment of a geopark in the broader area at the Kishb Volcanic Field.
The Pannonian Basin (Central Europe) hosts numerous alkali basaltic volcanic fields in an area similar to 200 000 km2. These volcanic fields were formed in an approximate time span of 8 million years producing smallvolume volcanoes typically considered to be monogenetic. Polycyclic monogenetic volcanic complexes are also common in each field however. The original morphology of volcanic landforms, especially phreatomagmatic volcanoes, is commonly modified. by erosion, commonly aided by tectonic uplift. The phreatomagmatic volcanoes eroded to the level of their sub-surface architecture expose crater to conduit filling as well as diatreme facies of pyroclastic rock assemblages. Uncertainties due to the strong erosion influenced by tectonic uplifts, fast and broad climatic changes, vegetation cover variations, and rapidly changing fluvio-lacustrine events in the past 8 million years in the Pannonian Basin have created a need to reconstruct and visualise the paleoenvironment into which the monogenetic volcanoes erupted. Here phreatomagmatic volcanic fields of the Miocene to Pleistocene western Hungarian alkali basaltic province have been selected and compared with modern phreatomagmatic fields. It has been concluded that the Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF) in New Zealand could be viewed as a prime modern analogue for the western Hungarian phreatomagmatic fields by sharing similarities in their pyroclastic successions textures such as pyroclast morphology, type, juvenile particle ratio to accidental lithics. Beside the AVF two other, morphologically more modified volcanic fields (Pali Aike, Argentina and Jeju, Korea) show similar features to the western Hungarian examples, highlighting issues such as preservation potential of pyroclastic successions of phreatomagmatic volcanoes.
Bondoró Volcanic Complex (shortly Bondoró) is one of the most complex eruption centre of Bakony-Balaton Highland Volcanic Field, which made up from basaltic pyroclastics sequences, a capping confined lava field (~4 km2) and an additional scoria cone. Here we document and describe the main evolutional phases of the Bondoró on the basis of facies analysis, drill core descriptions and geomorphic studies and provide a general model for this complex monogenetic volcano. Based on the distinguished 13 individual volcanic facies, we infer that the eruption history of Bondoró contained several stages including initial phreatomagmatic eruptions, Strombolian-type scoria cones forming as well as effusive phases. The existing and newly obtained K-Ar radiometric data have confirmed that the entire formation of the Bondoró volcano finished at about 2.3 Ma ago, and the time of its onset cannot be older than 3.8 Ma. Still K-Ar ages on neighbouring formations (e.g. Kab-hegy, Agár-teto) do not exclude a long-lasting eruptive period with multiple eruptions and potential rejuvenation of volcanic activity in the same place indicating stable melt production beneath this location. The prolonged volcanic activity and the complex volcanic facies architecture of Bondoró suggest that this volcano is a polycyclic volcano, composed of at least two monogenetic volcanoes formed more or less in the same place, each erupted through distinct, but short lived eruption episodes. The total estimated eruption volume, the volcanic facies characteristics and geomorphology also suggests that Bondoró is rather a small-volume polycyclic basaltic volcano than a polygenetic one and can be interpreted as a nested monogenetic volcanic complex with multiple eruption episodes. It seems that Bondoró is rather a “rule” than an “exception” in regard of its polycyclic nature not only among the volcanoes of the Bakony-Balaton Highland Volcanic Field but also in the Neogene basaltic volcanoes of the Pannonian Basin.